State leaders announce forecast of FY 2019 revenue numbers  

Press Release
For Immediate Release
December 12, 2017

State leaders announce forecast of FY 2019 revenue numbers  

SALT LAKE CITY –  Consensus revenue figures indicate Utah’s prosperous and diverse economy is generating additional revenue for the state. The consensus revenue forecast shows a supplementary $101 million of one-time funds and $382 million in new ongoing appropriations for the upcoming FY 2019 budget. That’s an increase from the amounts available at this time last year, which were $1 million one-time and $283 million ongoing.

“Utah’s continued economic growth provides the revenues that will allow the State of Utah to make critical investments in our long-term future, including education,” said Governor Gary Herbert.

“A reliable state budget depends on a reasonable, conservative budget forecast,” said Senate President Wayne Niederhauser. “These consensus figures are encouraging and good news for our economy, but we must continue to be conservative when examining the entire budget to ensure we find the correct fiscal balance.”

“This revenue and economic forecast illustrates that Utah’s economy continues to thrive,” said Speaker Greg Hughes. “While these numbers are encouraging, we must continue our measured approach as we put together the state budget that addresses critical needs of this great state. We have some of the best legislative economists in the nation and I appreciate the hours they spent working on this forecast.” 

The Office of Legislative Fiscal Analyst presented the consensus forecast on Tuesday, November 12, 2017, to the Executive Appropriations Committee. The office also presented a comprehensive review of revenue volatility and a trend analysis. It recommended using $67 million ongoing and $85 million one-time from the new revenue to pay existing obligations.

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Speaker Hughes Announces Changes to House Majority Leadership

Press Release
For Immediate Release
December 7, 2017

Contact:
Aundrea Peterson
House Majority Communications Director
Utah House of Representatives
aundreapeterson@le.utah.gov

Speaker Hughes Announces Changes to House Majority Leadership

Salt Lake City – With the pending resignation of Rep. Dean Sanpei, Speaker Greg Hughes has appointed Rep. Brad Last, to serve as the House chair of the Executive Appropriations Committee and Rep. Mike Schultz to serve as House vice-chair of the Executive Appropriations Committee, effective immediately.

“While we will greatly miss Rep. Sanpei, Rep. Last is ready, willing and able to lead our executive appropriations committee, and I’m excited to work closely with him in this new position,” said Speaker Hughes. “Rep. Schultz has proven to be a natural leader with a strong understanding of the legislative process and will be a great addition to our leadership team. I’m confident that both representatives will serve the House well and I look forward to working with them in their new respective roles.”

The changes to the leadership team come after Rep. Dean Sanpei announced his resignation from the Utah House of Representatives after accepting a career position out of state.

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Utah Public Lands

On Monday, December 4, President Donald Trump announced modifications to Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments, after Secretary Ryan Zinke conducted a review of national monument designations and the history of the Antiquities Act earlier this year. The result is five unique national monument units that total more than 1.2 million acres.

Bears Ears will now encompass two monument areas – Shash Jáa, approximately 129,980 acres and Indian Creek, approximately 71,896 acres. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service will continue to co-manage the land. Bears Ears remains larger than Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park combined.

The new proclamation also provides increased public access to the land and restores allowance for traditional use for activities including motorized recreation, cattle grazing and tribal collection of wood and herbs.

Boundaries that remain protected include Bears Ears Buttes, the Lime Ridge Clovis Site, Moon House Ruin, Doll House Ruin, Indian Creek Rock Art and Newspaper Rock.

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (GSENM) will now consist of three monument areas – the Grand Staircase (209,993 acres), Kaiparowits (551,034 acres) and Escalante Canyons (242,836 acres). The three areas total more than a million acres and will be managed by the BLM.

To determine the necessary size to adequately protect significant objects and artifacts within the original designations, a thorough examination was conducted. Regions protected in the GSENM include areas of the highest concentration of fossil resources; important landscape features such as the Grand Staircase, Upper Paria Canyon System, Kaiparowits Plateau, Escalante Natural Bridge, Upper Escalante Canyons, East Kaibab Monocline, Grosvenor Arch, Old Paria Townsite and Dance Hall Rock; and relict plant communities such as No Mans Mesa.

During the review, Secretary Zinke personally visited the monuments and met with local Tribal representatives, county commissioners, residents and ranchers, as well as organizations such as the Wilderness Society and Nature Conservancy. In addition, for the first time in history, Secretary Zinke opened a formal comment period of the review of monuments designated under the Antiquities Act to individuals, providing an opportunity for many voices to be heard.

The purpose of the Antiquities Act is to protect archaeological or historical sites in the smallest area necessary. It was not intended to lock up large swathes of land. Since 1996, Utah has endured two of the most significant incidents of federal overreach regarding national monument designations in recent history.

During the 2017 session, the Utah Legislature passed, HCR 11, Concurrent Resolution Urging the President to Rescind the Bears Ears National Monument Designation and HCR 12, Concurrent Resolution Urging Federal Legislation to Reduce or Modify the Boundaries of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

President Trump and his administration demonstrated that they are listening to Utahns and the desires of those who live in the area by pulling back a small portion of the federal overreach and abuse of the Antiquities Act that our state has endured. Through this process, they have shown their willingness to give greater access to public land, while still continuing to protect significant artifacts.

This is not the first time a president has reduced a monument. Reductions have occurred at least 18 times, by both Republicans and Democrats. For instance, President John F. Kennedy altered Bandelier National Monument; Presidents Taft, Wilson, and Coolidge reduced Mount Olympus National Monument; and President Eisenhower reduced the Great Sand Dunes National Monument.

The recent modifications by the Trump administration restore local input on federal lands, increase economic opportunity, especially in rural communities through grazing, commercial fishing, logging and in certain cases, mineral development, and protect objects without unnecessarily preventing public access.

We want to sincerely thank President Trump and Secretary Zinke for listening and allowing those closest to the lands to have some input on how to best manage and care for them.

Rep. Dean Sanpei to resign from Utah House

Press Release
For Immediate Release
December 1, 2017

Contact:
Aundrea Peterson
House Majority Communications Director
Utah House of Representatives
aundreapeterson@le.utah.gov

Rep. Dean Sanpei to resign from Utah House

Salt Lake City – Representative Dean Sanpei, current House chair of the Executive Appropriations Committee and vice president of strategy for Intermountain Healthcare, will resign from the Utah House of Representatives on December 8, 2017. Sanpei has accepted a position with Centura Health as senior vice president and chief strategy officer, which will require him to relocate to Colorado.

“On behalf of the Utah House of Representatives, we want to thank Rep. Sanpei for his years of service and leadership,” said Speaker Greg Hughes. “He will be hard to replace. Utah’s national recognition for being a well-managed state, and economically strong, are in large part due to his efforts. While we will greatly miss his friendship and leadership, we wish him and his family the very best as they venture out on this new journey.”

During his time in the Legislature, Rep. Sanpei has proven to be an expert on very complex issues including budgets, taxes and healthcare. Rep. Sanpei currently serves as House chair of the Executive Appropriations Committee and is a member of the Government Operations Committee and Health Reform Task Force.

“It has been an honor to serve in the Utah House during such a significant period of economic recovery and growth,” said Rep. Sanpei. “I am proud to have worked with remarkable colleagues, and I’m grateful to the constituents who entrusted me to represent them.”

Rep. Sanpei was appointed to the Utah House of Representatives in June 2010 to fill the remaining term of Rep. Stephen Clark and was elected by his district that November. Since then he has served on the Executive Appropriations Committee, Health and Human Services Interim Committee, Health Reform Task Force, Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee, House Health and Human Services Committee, House Workforce Services and Community and Economic Development Committee, Economic Development and Workforce Services Interim Committee, Education Interim Committee, House Education Committee, House Rules Committee, House Transportation Committee, Legislative Policy Summit, Government Operations Interim Committee, House Government Operations Committee, Legislative Site Visit, Transportation Interim Committee, Point of the Mountain Development Commission, and Economic Development Legislative Liaison Committee.

The Utah County Republican Party will now establish a process for choosing a replacement to be submitted to Governor Herbert for appointment.

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Point of the Mountain Development Commission Presents Scenarios

For Immediate Release

Contact:
Aundrea Peterson
Majority Director of Communications
aundreapeterson@le.utah.gov

Aimee Edwards
GOED Communications Director
edwards@utah.gov

 

SALT LAKE CITY (Nov. 28, 2017) — Public input is being sought for five development scenarios outlining possibilities for future growth of the Point of the Mountain region.

During a presentation to the Utah Legislature’s Point of the Mountain Development Commission at the Utah State Capitol on Tuesday, Envision Utah unveiled showed what the region could look like in 2050 according to specific development priorities.

Each of the five scenarios include varying levels of focus on residential and commercial development; transportation infrastructure; job growth and workforce development; and air quality, open space, recreation and water use.

The Point of the Mountain Development Commission will host two workshops to gather public feedback on the five scenarios:

  • Wednesday, Nov. 29, 6 p.m. at the Ashton Gardens Visitor Center in Lehi
  • Thursday, Nov. 30, 6 p.m. at the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium in Draper

Residents may also weigh in on the scenarios through a survey on pointofthemountainfuture.org until Dec. 31, 2017.

The Point of the Mountain Development Commission was created during the 2016 Legislative Session by H.B. 318. The commission is a unique entity comprised of local officials, private sector representatives, and state officials from both the legislative and executive branches. It is tasked with providing recommendations on infrastructure planning and financing tools to develop the area joining Salt Lake and Utah Counties.

For more information, visit pointofthemountainfuture.org.

 

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Naturalization Ceremony to be held at the Utah State Capitol

Media Advisory
For Immediate Release
November 27, 2017 

Contact:
                             Aundrea Peterson
Majority Director of Communications
aundreapeterson@le.utah.gov

Naturalization Ceremony to be held at the Utah State Capitol

 Salt Lake City – Representative Norm Thurston, in partnership with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), will host a naturalization ceremony at 10 a.m. Tuesday, November 28 at the Utah State Capitol.

The keynote speaker Silvana Effio, news anchor and director at Telemundo Utah, will share her experience of becoming a U.S. citizen. Rep. Norm Thurston will serve as master of ceremonies. Laura McNeer, field office director for USCIS, will administer the Oath of Allegiance.

Carla Swensen-Haslam will perform the U.S. National Anthem. A video welcome message from President Donald Trump.

Following the ceremony, on-site voter registration will be available for the new U.S. citizens.

Who:    
Rep. Norm Thurston, District 64
Silvana Effio, News Anchor and Director for Telemundo Utah
Laura McNeer, USCIS Field Office Director

What:
U.S. Naturalization Ceremony

Where:
Utah State Capitol ­– Rotunda
350 State St., Salt Lake City, UT 84111

When:
Tuesday, November 28, 2017, at 10 a.m.

Notes:
New citizens will be available for interviews immediately following the ceremony. When photographing someone with their certificate, have the person cover up their number (top right) to protect their privacy.

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Speaker Hughes statement on the nomination of Dr. Harris to serve as U.S. Marshal for the District of Utah

For Immediate Release
November 17, 2017

Contact:
Aundrea Peterson
House Majority Communications Director
Utah House of Representatives
aundreapeterson@le.utah.gov

Speaker Hughes statement on the nomination of Dr. Matthew Harris to serve as U.S. Marshal for the District of Utah

SALT LAKE CITY –  Speaker Greg Hughes issued the following statement following President Trump’s announcement to nominate Dr. Matthew D. Harris to serve as the United States Marshal for the District of Utah:

“Dr. Matthew Harris is an excellent choice to serve as U.S. Marshal for the District of Utah. He has advised me on various law enforcement issues as well as public policy recommendations related to waste fraud and abuse. He is highly qualified to serve in this role.

“I appreciate President Trump’s selection of a topnotch expert to serve in our great state and Senator Orrin Hatch for his influence and confidence in recommending Dr. Harris for this important position. I look forward to working closely with him in his new capacity.”

Dr. Harris, formerly of Utah, is currently an Assistant Special Agent in Charge with the United States Postal Service, Office of Inspector General. Dr. Harris previously served as a Senior Special Agent and Assistant Director for criminal investigations at the United States Government Accountability Office. Dr. Harris served in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives in Salt Lake City from 2000 to 2006 and in the New York State Office of Inspector General from 1999 to 2000.

His federal law enforcement career began in 1997 with the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. Since 2003, he has been an Adjunct Professor of Criminal Justice at Salt Lake Community College.

Dr. Harris holds a Doctorate in Business Administration from Northcentral University, a Master of Public Administration from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration and Criminal Justice from Kutztown University.

Notes:
The White House press release can be found here: President Donald J. Trump Announces Ninth Wave of United States Attorney Nominations and Third Wave of United States Marshal Nominations

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Speaker Hughes Educating Counties about Options to Confront Big Pharma

Press Release
For Immediate Release
November 16, 2017

Contact:
Aundrea Peterson
House Majority Communications Director
Utah House of Representatives
801-791-3365| aundreapeterson@le.utah.gov

Speaker Hughes Educating Counties about Options to Confront Big Pharma
Uniting to combat the opioid crisis

ST. GEORGE, UT– Speaker Greg Hughes and DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge for Utah Brian Besser are attending the Utah Association of Counties annual conference in St. George to discuss the opioid epidemic impacting every county in our state.

Speaker Hughes will be focused on informing county leaders and stakeholders about their options to pursue litigation against big drug manufacturers. He will encourage them to follow the lead of Salt Lake County and Utah County leaders who just this week announced they would be initiating litigation to hold accountable those responsible for this crisis.

The opioid crisis that is sweeping this country is affecting every community across our state. The facts are staggering, in Utah 4 out of 5 people addicted to heroin started through prescribed opioid pain medication.

“We must take this fight to those who have profited by making blatantly false claims that have adversely affected Utahns lives,” said Speaker Hughes. “Utah has an important and unique story that needs to be shared. Now is the time to act.”

Drug manufactures knowingly made deceptive claims while marketing their products to physicians and the public, such as, “Opioids are rarely addictive if taken long term.” Resulting in the United States consuming 99 percent of opioid products even though our country only makes up 5 percent of the world population.

Every county in this state needs to join together to fight this public health epidemic.

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Fireworks Restrictions – 2018

PROPOSED LEGISLATION FACT SHEET

During the 2017 fireworks season, questions were raised about the types of fireworks allowed, the number of days it is legal to use fireworks, fire prevention, and liability concerns. In order to address these issues in a balanced and appropriate manner, Rep. Dunnigan and Sen. Iwamoto worked together on legislation that balances these concerns with the desire many Utahns have to be able to celebrate our most patriotic holidays with traditional displays of fireworks. This legislation is the result of numerous meetings with law enforcement, firefighters, fireworks retailers and manufacturers, citizens, and local elected officials.

A balanced approach

This legislation takes a balanced, bipartisan, and reasonable approach to addressing the many viewpoints on how and when fireworks should be allowed.

40% reduction in dates fireworks are allowed in July

  • Fireworks would be allowed July 2-5 and July 22-25, instead of July 1-7 and July 21-27.
  • Fireworks would still be allowed on New Year’s Eve and Chinese New Year’s Eve.

Stronger penalties for shooting fireworks outside of permitted dates and times

  • Penalty for discharging fireworks when not permitted would be up to a $1,000 fine, an increase from $750. Violations would remain an infraction.

New penalty for igniting fireworks in restricted areas

  • Up to a $1,000 penalty and an infraction for discharging fireworks in an area where fireworks have been prohibited due to hazardous environmental conditions.

More local control

  • Provides clarity and increased flexibility to local governments and the state forester to prohibit the discharge of fireworks due to historic or current hazardous environmental conditions.

Easier to understand restrictions and penalties

  • Requires local governments and the state forester to create and provide maps showing where fireworks are prohibited due to hazardous environmental conditions.
  • Requires retailers to display maps that counties provide showing these restricted areas and display signs that indicate legal dates and times as well as criminal penalties and fines for violations.

Increased liability for causing a fire with fireworks

  • Civil liability for negligently, recklessly, or intentionally causing a fire with fireworks potentially includes any damages caused by the fire and any costs of suppressing the fire.

 

Notes:

Business and Labor Interim Committee voted unanimously to fast-track this legislation for consideration during 2018 General Session on Wednesday, November 15, 2017.

Legal Action Against Opioid Makers

We appreciate Salt Lake County and Utah County taking strides to help bring in an end to the drug manufactures not being held responsible for making blatantly false claims. Utah is moving in the right direction. Looking forward to others taking action.

This letter was read by Utah Commissioners read during the Utah County Board of Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017.

Watch the press conference where Speaker Greg Hughes, Mayor Ben McAdams District Attorney Sim Gill and families of those affected by the opioid crisis announce Salt Lake County’s intent topursue legal action against opioid drug manufacturers here.